Magnanimity and humility characterize the lifestyle of
Christians who truly want to be witnesses to the Gospel in the farthest
reaches on earth. Pope Francis sketched the outline of this way of being
“missionaries of the Church” on Thursday, 25 April, at the now- traditional
morning Mass in the Chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Among the concelebrants were Archbishop Nikola Eterović,
General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and Bishop Eduardo Horacio García,
Auxiliary of Buenos Aires. Also taking part in the morning's celebration
were the religious and lay members of the Secretariat of the Synod of
Bishops, a group of Gendarmes of Vatican City, led by their Inspector
General, Domenico Giani, and many families.
As always the Pope commented on the day's readings, on this
occasion from the First Letter of St Peter (5:5-14) and from Mark's Gospel
(16:15-20). “Before ascending into heaven Jesus sent the Apostles out to
evangelize, to preach the kingdom. He sent them to the ends of the earth.
‘Go into all the world’”, he urged them. Francis then stressed the
universality of the Church’s mission, noting that Jesus did not tell the
Apostles to go to Jerusalem or Galilee but sent them out into the entire
world. This explains the missionary outreach of the Church which continues
to preach “to the whole world. But she does not go by herself”, the Pope
said. “She goes with Jesus”.
The Christian, Pope Francis explained, “preaches the Gospel
with his witness rather than with his words”. The Pope ended by asking those
present to pray to the Lord that they “become missionaries in the Church
with this spirit: great magnanimity and also great humility”.